Kumeu is not ready for the looming growth.
We already have appalling traffic congestion. However, this is not the only issue. There are other infrastructure problems to also be aware of.
Having infrastructure built in advance of population growth is what good planning is all about. So what exactly is “infrastructure”?
The first infrastructure item is fresh water supply. This infrastructure component will be fine. There is a brand new water reservoir on Old North Road that can supply all of Kumeu’s needs. So that’s great news.
The sewage system will also be fine. It will, however, be put under strain and require upgrading as time goes by.
Our roads are not ready. Surprisingly, the solutions for SH16, which is Government’s responsibility, and a bypass to the west of town, which is Auckland Council’s responsibility, are still only in the planning stages. These must be fast tracked with the utmost urgency.
What is required is for central Government to construct a four lane highway from Kumeu to Brighams Creek. Complimenting this, to prevent terrible bottlenecking through Kumeu, a new bypass road running west of the town is needed to handle the four lane traffic flow. This bypass is unlikely to affect local business because there will be significantly more local housing and presumably more customers than ever before.
Public transport is the next infrastructure item. This is the responsibility of Auckland Council through Auckland Transport. The current limited bus service can be improved. The most cost-effective public transport solution is to restart the rail service given the fact the infrastructure already exists.
Rail must happen now. There are spare diesel railcars sitting idle just waiting to be used. Driving to Swanson is adding to the morning traffic congestion.
Parks and reserves are another infrastructure component. They serve different purposes providing for either aesthetic or recreational and sporting uses. Common sense tells us more parks will be required.
Public facilities such as libraries and halls can cope for a while but our public cemetery is full. Purchasing land to expand the Kumeu cemetery is required now.
Education infrastructure is vitally important and the locations of our future schools are not yet planned. They should be via a Structure Plan.
Structure Plans are pivotal official documents. They are used to outline where every one of the key infrastructure items mentioned above should be physically located. From it all other Council controlled organisations can plan their infrastructure investment with certainty.
The Kumeu/ Huapai Residents & Ratepayers Association has been at the forefront of pressing Auckland Council to have this crucial document drafted and want the community to be able to be directly involved. Without such a document Kumeu is rudderless in the face of growth.
Auckland Council promises to have this in place later this year. This is far too late. This overdue document is of such vital importance for steering Kumeu forward.